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EDGE was made before Carol Morley's critically lauded drama-documentary DREAMS OF A LIFE and released several months afterwards,and although it's not as good,it's still a amiable minor drama,though more notable for it's convincingly created mood of isolation and misery than it's over familiar plot and situations.
A number of individuals (Maxine Peake,Majorie Yates,Nichola Burley,Joe Dempsie) converge on an isolated and somewhat dilapidated hotel on England's South Coast in midwinter,which sums up their own relative moods of despair,loneliness and misery.A musician who hangs around the hotel (Paul Hilton),strikes up a relationship with a reluctant Elly (Peake),and we gradually find out the reasons why all the characters involved have decided to reside at such a downbeat hovel.
The stories themselves are not especially interesting,as the characters themselves either,but is salvaged by decent performances by Hilton,Ms Peake,Ms Yates and others,generally as understated as the stories and revelations that take place in a portmanteau style,which do not create excitement or anything particularly startling,with a rather obviously contrived tying up of loose ends at the film's climax.
EDGE's best element is it's mood and atmosphere,deliberately glum and downcast,well handled by director Morley with some welcome moments of wry,black humour.The co-ordinations of the dismal hotel rooms,lobby and restaurant contrast effectively with the bleak beauty of the snow-leaden outdoors and cliff side location,containing some striking,near dreamlike imagery.If only the script and plot had showed a little more inventiveness and variation,this could have shown the same resonance and emotion as the superior DREAMS OF A LIFE gave us on a similar theme;unfortunately in EDGE's case,it often leads to lethargy,aridness and dullness with little being said or done and Pinterish pauses that signify little.And the limitations of the low budget show,the feeling of claustrophobia and it's blank location becoming wearing and often repetitive.
However,EDGE is a reasonably edifying drama,held together by it's cast,well controlled mood and occasionally striking imagery.Carol Morley is a talented director,making EDGE better than it seems despite it's undernourished and sometimes pedestrian plot and script,a talent that came to greater reward in her following effort,the outstanding DREAMS OF A LIFE.
RATING:6 and a half out of 10.
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